Comments By Landion

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  • Landion
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  • 7 years, 1 month ago
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Posted:  5 years, 5 months ago

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Trainer in need of insight

I've had this issue with students too. I'm not sure what you've done so far in your practice. But one thing that has helped my students has been making them get out to look with me.

I'm obviously outside already, then I have them join me at the back. Have them look at the situation and talk me through their next couple moves. Depending on the situation even if they give me the wrong set of moves I'll let them do them anyway.

No matter if they gave me the right set of moves or wrong set, I'll pull them back out pretty quick to see the results of their actions. It takes more than one time of doing this, but you should gradually start to see improvement.

I absolutely sucked at backing when I was done with training but I'm happy to say that all of my students have been better at backing than I was atvthr end of training.

Hope it helps!

Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

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Swift or cr england for training

I left England recently. My experience with them was not the best, I won't get into all the details here, but the best part about the company IMO is decent equipment.

I have a, friend that went to swift right out of school, and in comparing things with him I think I would have had a better experience there.

As for England's pay... .12 cpm for every mile your team truck moves for the first month. You get a .01 cpm raise every 30 days for the first 5 months. After that you join a division and get paid whatever the base is for that division, which is still only about .32 cpm solo or .18 cpm team.

England has A TON of recent cdl grads pulling their freight. After 6 months of being off the trainers truck they will pressure you to become a trainer. That is where you start making the big bucks. My trainer told me he made .42 cpm for all the miles on the truck (we did 5000 a week +/-), .01 cpm for each mile one if his students drove for a year after getting off his truck, and $200 for each off his students that successfully tested out of training on the first try.

Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

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Working for an owner/operator instead of a company.

The company that I'm with allows drivers to purchase the used trucks, and several of our trainers have put their students into trucks they own after they've completed training.

Benefits (health care, etc.) are a big difference that you'll have to deal with, and may not be anything major for you. You may have fewer restrictions working for him (I.e. Governed at a higher speed, no mobile eye, less restrictive policies, etc.).

Something to be cautious of... What happens if the truck you're in needs a major repair? Will he have the means to cover the repair? Pay you some type of layover pay? Cover your hotel?

This thought carries forward to all the financial related items that could come up. What happens if his truck breaks down and needs a major repair? Will your truck generate enough income to cover your payroll and his expenses until he is back on the road?

These are things that I would consider and maybe talk with him about before making a decision.

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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Big mistake to karma bite!

So I've been with my trainer for 2 weeks now. Good guy, very knowledgeable, most of the time not hard to live with. Today however he was nit picking the hell out of everything I was doing. Right down to the order of which I connected the trailer. As someone you may remember I was team driving for another company before switching companies around new years. The first company taught me to check the connection between the 5th wheel and king pin before doing any other connecting type stuff. This guy wants me to connect the air and electric line, then check the king pin. Neither are wrong.... just 2 ways to do the same thing.

So I was extremely flustered today... and forgot to hit the tandem release arm after sliding the wheels.... well driving down the road for a few miles and I thought we were in a wreck. ... the tandems hit the stop bar so hard. The trainer was sitting on the bottom bunk and flew onto the floor.

Bottom line, I need to be more careful... while nothing major happened today... that's not to say next time I'll be a lucky. All that said, I'm still laughing at the image of my trainer flopping around on the floor like a fish.

I pointed out that if he was nicer tomorrow is let him stay in bed :) hopefully revenge isn't as funny. ....

Posted:  6 years, 5 months ago

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Trying to begin a career in the commercial driving field, any advice on what steps to take would be appreciated.

From what I've seen and heard most companies are going to want you to go through a school first. I went to school with a guy who was in his 50s, with 15 years experience otr. Since he had taken 5ish years out of a truck he had to go back to school first.

Aso far as your age, that is not at all too old. I went to school with a few people who were 5 years both ways of you.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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Werner Orientation

I'm going in as a team, and we both have very little experience so we're starting at 21 cpm each with a 3 cpm bonus for running 21,000+ miles a month. I'm coming from a place where we were making 12 cpm each.

When I talked to the recruiter we discussed dedicated solo options and it was around the 36 cpm range. He seemed to admit that the 48 state solo drivers make the least... so I would talk to them about dedicated options if I were coming in solo.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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Werner Orientation

Every orientation location is different then. i went to werner orientation last year. soo unorganized. the pay was horrible too, thats why i left. the only way to make money there is to train. even the guys i met running teams were only making 500 a week each.

I'm in Indianapolis for orientation.

I'm not saying (tho it does seem like it) that Werner is the best company for orientation and i have no experience with them out on the road. But from where I was to what I'm seeing now, and comparing just orientations, I have a better feeling about the company. It could be that the last company was so dysfunctional through this process that I'm more easily impressed. But I can't complain right now, and I couldn't say that at this point last time.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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Werner Orientation

Today was the first day of orientation at Werner, and there are some striking differences between my last company's orientation and Werner's.

1) First Impression - Last company walked around aimlessly trying to figure out where to go and what to do. Half the people attending were not even on the roster.

- Werner Large signs, walked into a room with a couple dozen computers. Each of our names was on one of the PCs. They were expecting each of us, even after my partner and I changed days and locations at the last minute. Each station had some forms, our fuel cards, and copies of the DOT regulations, Hazmat regulations, and Driver handbooks waiting for us.

2) Organization - Former Comoany - Spent 18-20 hours in orientation over 2 days. During that time we spent 8 hours doing paperwork, learning about the company, testing, etc. The rest of the time was spent waiting for the office staff to print out TONS of forms for us to sign and go through everything to make sure it was done correctly.

- Werner - I've spent 9.5 hours in orientation today. Filled out 5 forms on a physical sheet of paper (including a lunch order form), the rest were done online. Instead of waiting for someone to look through each sheet of paper, the Web application identified missing parts or incorrect answers.

3) Program

- Former Company - we sat in a classroom for 4 hours watching video after video. No testing or verification that you learned anything. The driver handbook was only available online.

- Werner - We have a dozen +/- individual training modules to go through. The day was spent self paced going through each module, with a test and required minimum score for each. If you didn't learn what you needed to, then you had to do it again. There was someone thereally to help you if you couldn't understand something as the module explained it.

We were also given homework tonight. 5 pages of mostly fill in the blank questions from all over the drivers handbook. Kind of a pain in the rear... but I appreciate a company who has standards on what should be known prior to getting into a truck.

4) Morale

- Because of all the time just sitting around waiting everyone at orientation with me at the last company was upset and voiced their unhappiness. It felt like we were all wasting our time.

- Because there wasn't much down time, and we were far from bored, we all laughed, joked and it was ALMOST fun.

All-in-all the orientation process at Werner seems to be very well thought out and planned. If the same level of planning has gone into the rest of the organization I believe jumping ship and switching companies will prove to be a good decision.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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A new career in trucking.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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C.B. Radio

I've not driven through too many areas where there's been obnoxious people on the radio. Most of what I hear is legit stuff.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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C.B. Radio

My trainer didn't have a CB in his truck and we made it through just fine so I wasn't sure that I was gonna get one. But the little kid in me won out pretty quick.

Two days after getting it, a truck with one of those massive wind turbine blades stalled out blocking an intersection on a backroad. The intersection was at the top of a hill. His lead car took care of alerting NB traffic and the chase car alerted SB. Kept us all safe as we approached.

My second dock bumo out of training, i was having a hell of a time. After taking a few shots over the radio by experienced guys, i told em it was my second bump, they talked me through the backing over the radio.

One of the best gear investments I've made.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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Ticket

I have one on my record too, from out of state that hasn't impacted my getting a job. As was previously suggested, be honest about it when asked. It'll look a lot worse if it does show up and you told them your mvr was clean.

Not sure about GA, but in Illinois if you go to court you can request court supervision. You pay a little more, but as long as you go a year without another one then it stays off your record.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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How to return the truck

This last load continues to be a pain in the arse. The shipper informed me that it would not be ready before the storm arrived. So past the info onto our office, and a couple hours later we were taken off that load to repower a load going to ohio.

For those of you keeping track Ohio is no where near Laredo, TX. Lol.

I explained that we could do it but needed to be routed to our yard in South Holland Illinois right after so we could get home. She did one better and routed us to the yard directly where a regional guy will make the delivery.

Called Werner and explained the situation, they were very good about rescheduling us for orientation on Wednesday in Indianapolis.

All in all with the exception of having to deal with some weather tonight and strong winds right now, this should work out better with 36 hours or so of home time thrown in between load and getting on a bus.

As for trainer or no trainer - we will have to go out for 2 weeks with a trainer. Which in thinking about it I'm okay with. I have zero snow driving time... and I'd like to do some with an experienced driver before navigating it on my own.

I'll create a separate post on the Werner orientation once we go through that.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

How to return the truck

Thank you all for the comments and feedback. After reading everything that y'all said I decided to heed your advice and make sure this last load is done the right way. I've been in contact with the recruiter with werner and explained that we're stuck at a shipper AND are expecting a blizzard this evening. So if we can't get out of here before the storm hits they will bump us to Wednesday's orientation.

Not ideal, I'm not real happy about it, but considering all I gave up and life changes made to do this; I would be an idiot to not do this the right way. And would only have myself to blame for killing my new career.

Thanks again for the info and taking me of the ledge.

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

How to return the truck

However, you've only been with England 3 months. Im sure they have drivers making money somewhere or they would have no drivers and they're a big company. The 12 cpm.. did you go to their school? If so, I would honor my commitment with them. I can't imagine them running a team like a solo driver. Are you positive there isn't more to the story?

Best of luck, but don't feel pressed to make a decision that will literally ruin both your careers.

Thanks Sue.

Couple things about England and this situation.

1. No I did not go to one of their schools. We both went to private schools.

2. I know that England hired a new group of driver managers, while nobody will confirm it, I'm fairly sure that we have one of the new DMs.

3. England has all the new drivers (some exceptions based on England needs) go through a 5 month team driving period with another rookie driver at very low mileage rates.

4. Once you've reached 6 months with the company there is a lot of pressure to become a trainer. Trainers are making a really good mileage rate, plus bonuses. My trainer told me that he's well into 6 figures. I made twice as much in training that I do now, because my trainer'so truck never stopped.

5. Even when the required team period is over, rates for non trainers are well under what I'm seeing being offered out there.

I left my house to start working at England at the beginning of October and have not been home. I understand no home time during training, then after training I couldn't get home time approved because other drivers were going home for thanksgiving. After that period I was told I needed to wait and request it from my new DM. By that time it was denied because other drivers on the new fleet had home time scheduled.

The whole experience with England seems to be unique to England. I've talked to others from my class and former england drivers out on the road that just walk up and give me their sympathies for who I work for.

After reading everyone's comments, I'm not gonna rush down to Laredo, I'll wait here and see what happens when I talk to the shipper tomorrow.

I appreciate all.of the advice, you guys stopped me from headed to Laredo today. Lol

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

View Topic:

How to return the truck

Thanks Brett. Currently with CR England and headed to Werner.

The main reason that Monday is a hard-ish deadline is because Werner is changing its policy on what they consider an experienced driver. If we get in before 1/1/16 3 months experience is all that's needed. After that we need 6 or have to go out with a trainer. I thought the last time with a trainer was gonna be the death of me LOL. Not in a hurry to repeat that process.

Really hope I'm not still wondering what to do on

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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How to return the truck

Landion, firstly don't fall for the "grass is greener on the other side" way of thinking.

Also, I would do this last load no matter how much of a pain it is. I'll give you the consequences of each of your actions and I hope you make the intelligent decision yourself.

1: Your best option, but even if it takes you beyond Monday morning. You can always reschedule your orientation.

2: Oh boy, if you know what's good for you don't do it. They'll probably screw you over on your DAC report and make you unhireable by future employers.

3: Doing this will get a truck abandonment on your record. You will essentially destroy your entire career with this move.

Don't be a knucklehead, leave on good terms. Do that last load.

The reason that I (we're) leaving boils down to money. We're making .12 a mile each as a team and are only getting 2500-3000 miles a week. This is after being assigned to a new DM. Under our last DM I was the #3 driver and my partner #8 in a fleet of 54 drivers, getting 6000-7000 miles a week. Now, since the DM change we literally spend 12-36 hours waiting for new loads.

We've talked to our DM and his manager. All we're told is that our DM is doing the best he can. Asked about being transfered to another DM and thats not an option. The others have full fleets.

If we were doing something different in terms of service levels, or macros sent from 1 DM to the other I could at least attribute some of the issue there.... but that's not the case.

So we're headed to a company that's paying us .24 each, and everyone I've talked to on the road, and posts I've seen here confirm miles are never an issue.

I'm trying to leave the right way, I've never abandoned a job before and I don't want to start now. But at the same time not being at orientation Monday is not an option.

So I guess we'll wait and see what Saturday and Sunday holds.

Appreciate all the feedback. :)

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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How to return the truck

Oh, I would also try to push the shipper, saying you have a medical emergency back home and need to get going asap. Light a fire under their a$$. Maybe even pay a few bucks to the guys loading so they get you outta there fast on the 26th.

The issue with the shipper is that security is the only staff that they have onsite. So there's nobody to light a fire under. :(

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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How to return the truck

So I'm leaving my current company and start with another one on Monday. The company I'm leaving won't let me come back to a yard without a load and they dispatched me to get one just outside of Amarillo, heading to our yard in Laredo.

We got here yesterday afternoon, and the shipper told us the load would be ready last night. Well it wasn't ready, and it's not going to be ready until "maybe tomorrow" (12/26).

I'm not getting detention pay on this since the pick-up is scheduled from 1200 12/24 - 1600 12/28.

The company will not approve a deadhead to Laredo.

I see 3 options

1) wait here for the load as long as I can, no later than Sunday morning since I have to be in orientation Monday morning.

2) say screw it, drive the truck back to Laredo, against company wishes and return it to the yard.

3) get a rental car and leave the truck in Amarillo.

Thoughts?

Posted:  6 years, 6 months ago

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A Driver’s Night Before Christmas

Good stuff! First Christmas as a drivers and my co-driver and I are about 1000 miles from home. We won't be back to celebrate with our families till February.

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